Post Supreme Court verdict, Kejriwal hits out at Modi govt.

A five-judge Constitution Bench delivered its verdict on the Delhi govt.’s appeal challenging a HC judgment holding the LG as the administrative head of the Capital

July 04, 2018 09:29 am | Updated 06:11 pm IST

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia briefing the media at Delhi Secretariat.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia briefing the media at Delhi Secretariat.

The Supreme Court on July 4, 2018 pronounced its verdict on the tussle between the Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal and the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government over who wields the power to administer and govern the national capital.

A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, ruled that the Delhi government has power in all areas except land, police and public order and the LG is bound by the aid and advice of the government in areas other than those exempted.


Here are the updates:



Kejriwal hits out at Modi govt.

“If Modi govt. had not withdrawn the powers of elected govt. through illegal orders, precious three years would have been saved. People of Delhi are grateful to judiciary. Today’s order reinforces people’s faith in judiciary,” Chief Minister Kejriwal tweets. “Cabinet meeting held. Directed all functionaries of Delhi govt. to function according to the order of Hon’ble SC. Also directed to expedite proposals of doorstep delivery of rations and CCTV now.”




Kejwiral to meet Chidambaram to 'thank' him

Following his “major victory” in the Supreme Court in his bitter power tussle with the LG, Mr. Kejriwal will meet former Union minister P. Chidambaram to “thank” him for representing the city government as one of its counsel in the apex court. “The chief minister will meet P. Chidambaram in the evening to thank him. He was one of the lawyers who represented Delhi government in the Supreme Court,” an official said.



Verdict applicable to Puducherry, says Narayanasamy

Engaged in a running feud with Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy has hailed the Supreme Court judgment on the powers of an elected government.

“I welcome the verdict, and it is totally applicable to the government of Puducherry, which is also a Union Territory,” he told reporters.

The veteran Congress leader warned that he would file a contempt petition if the Lt. Governor failed to act in accordance with the apex court verdict.

“Whoever functions contrary to the judgment now delivered by the apex court would face serious action. I myself would file contempt petition against those failing to act in consonance with the supreme court verdict,” he said in a veiled attack on Ms. Bedi.



Ruling not a vindication for AAP: Sheila

Downplaying the AAP’s victory proclamations over the Supreme Court verdict, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the ruling that the LG is bound by the government’s advice was “not a vindication” for the party as “it has always been so“.

“It is not a vindication, it has always been so. We also ran a government for 15 years and whatever the Cabinet decided, the LG used to always agree to that,” she said.

The LG had total control over land and law and order, but beyond that he went through the advice of the Cabinet, she said.

“I don’t see why it [the matter] should go to the court. There is a constitutional provision, Article 239 (AA) in the Constitution... it says the Union territory, it is all clearly laid down then what is the conflict about. If you want to change that then go to Parliament and say that you want these changes,” the three-term Chief Minister said.


AAP should give up Statehood demand now: Delhi BJP

The Delhi BJP, welcoming the Supreme Court verdict, said the ruling party should now shun its “political demand” of full statehood to the city.

BJP MLA and Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said the verdict had directed the AAP government to follow the law and it was expected that they would do so. “We welcome the Supreme Court verdict. The Delhi government should have been following the law even without the order of the court. We hope they will do so after the judgement.”

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the verdict had “decided” that Delhi is a Union Territory and the AAP should stop raising their “political demand” for full statehood to the city.


Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called a Cabinet meeting at 4 p.m.


They should get to work now : Ajay Maken

Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken says: "Now that the Supreme Court has made it all clear, there should be no excuses, just development for Delhi. Kejriwal government and LG had been kicking around Delhiites like a football. They should stop it now and get to work."

CPI(M) chief Sitaram Yechury tweets: "The role of LGs and Governors and their misuse has been brought into sharp focus by today’s judgement. BJP’s charade of cooperative federalism and in reality destroying our federal structure is condemnable. LGs/Governors cannot usurp rights of an elected state government."


Big victory for people, says Kejriwal

Mr. Kejriwal tweets that it is a victory for the people of Delhi.

AAP Delhi spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj, hugs Nagendar Sharma, Media advisor to the Chief Minister, after the verdict.

AAP Delhi spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj rejoices with Nagendar Sharma, dedia advisor to the Chief Minister, after the Supreme Court verdict on July 4, 2018.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia equates the verdict with the party's landslide win in the Delhi elections. "67/3 was the historic decision of the people of Delhi. Today, the Honourable Supreme Court has delivered an important verdict," Mr. Sisodia tweets in Hindi. On behalf of the people of Delhi, I thank the Honourable Supreme Court for declaring the people as real power, he says. The party's fight for statehood will continue, he adds.


Concurrence not needed: Justice Ashok Bhushan

The five-judge Bench has adhered to a Supreme Court's nine-judge Bench decision of 1996 in NDMC versus State of Punjab to hold that Delhi is not a State but 'special'.

Justice Ashok Bhushan, too, in a separate opinion says the LG cannot send every difference of opinion to President.

The LG needs to be only informed of the National Capital Territory (NCT) government's decision. There is no need for his concurrence, he states.


Elected govt, not LG, has substantive powers: Justice Chandrachud

Collective responsibility means the government speaks in one voice to the people whose aspirations the government reflects, says Justice Chandrachud, while delivering his verdict

Real authority to take decisions lies in the elected government. This is the meaning of 'aid and advice'. Titular head has to act in accordance to aid and advice, he says.

The real power must lie in the elected representatives in a democracy. They owe responsibility to the legislature. But balance has to be struck considering the special status of Delhi and fundamental concerns as Delhi is the National Capital, he notes.

Elected representatives will be reduced to a cipher if 'any matter' in Art 239AA (4) is interpreted as every matter of governance. This Constitutional Court will be doing disservice if an elected govt is reduced to a mere form without substance, he says.

The difference of opinion between the LG and the NCT  government should not be contrived but substantive. The LG should remember that it is not he but the elected government that has substantive powers, he observes.

The role of the LG is not to supplant the constitutional role of the NCT govt but to help. He need to bother only about issues of national importance, he states.

There is no independent authority on the LG to take decisions except in matters under Article 239 or those outside the purview of the NCT govt, he rules.


AAP's first  reaction

The AAP appears to be happy with the verdict. The party's national spokesperson Rahav Chadha tweets: "Government of Delhi has been restored. Democracy in Delhi has been restored. Democratic rights of people of Delhi have been restored. Thank you, SC."


'LG's concurrence not required'

A decision of the Delhi government need only to be communicated to the LG; this does not mean the LG's concurrence is required, say the CJI and Justices A.K. Sikri and A.M. Khanwilkar in majority judgment of Constitution Bench

The LG cannot, without applying his mind, refer every difference of opinion between him and Delhi government to the President. The LG is an administrator in a limited sense and is not a Governor. The LG is bound by the aid and advice of the NCT govt in areas other than those exempted, the CJI says.

The Bench also asks the LG and the Delhi government to work harmoniously.


Delhi not a State: CJI

The NCT does not have the status of a 'State', says the CJI, while delivering his verdict. ''It is a class apart,'' he observes.

The Union has exclusive executive powers over land, police and public order. All other areas Delhi govt has power, the judgment by the CJI reads.

Any matter in Article 239AA (4) does not mean every matter, he says.

The LG can only refer differences of opinion under Article 239AA (4) to the President only in "exceptional matters". This is an exception not the general rule. He has to act in the spirit of constitutional trust and morality, he states.


Key arguments in the Delhi govt. vs LG case

The AAP government has clashed with the LG over appointments, file clearances and control of the police department, which reports to the Centre.

The AAP government has clashed with the LG over appointments, file clearances and control of the police department, which reports to the Centre. File


Excerpts from the arguments made in court for 15 days starting from November 2, 2017 on the Delhi government’s appeal challenging the August 2016 High Court judgment holding the LG as the administrative head of the Capital



SC reserves for verdict on Delhi-Centre power spat

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on December 6, 2017 reserved for judgment on the Centre-Delhi power tussle.


The spat: arguments and counter-arguments

Who should govern Delhi? The big question before the five-judge Constitution Bench.


Nine days of Delhi dharna: a recap

When Mr. Arvind Kejriwal left the Raj Niwas  — the official residence of LG Anil Baijal — to his home on June 20, it made headlines in the media. While a chief minister visiting an LG's office is not new, a chief minister and his cabinet colleagues  occupying the visitor's lounge of a Raj Niwas  for nine days is something unheard of.



The Hindu explains: The powers of Governors and LGs

An LG also has the same powers as a Governor. Only three Union Territories — Andaman and Nicobar, Delhi and Puducherry — have LGs. In an observation made in November 2017, the Supreme Court said that the LG of Delhi had more powers that the Governor of a State — he does not have to listen to the advice of the Council of Ministers.


Delhi HC holds LG as administrative head

In a big blow to the AAP government's fight for Statehood for  Delhi  and control of power with the Union government, the Delhi High Court held that the NCT continues to be a Union Territory and the LG is its administrative head.


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